Factors including income, culture and religious orientation are all now less important in the overall search for a partner, according to a new study on online dating.
Men and women seeking partners on dating websites and more recently via mobile applications have become more tolerant.
"However, this increased openness hasn't yet scaled up on a societal level, with marked gender inequalities focused on physical attractiveness and male-led communication still apparent," Dr Taha Yasseri, leading researcher in a study from the Oxford Internet Institute, University of Oxford and the dating website eharmony.
Good looks are less important to women, which results in men who score between 5-9 on 'attractiveness' actually receive more messages than men who score 10/10.
Where computational science and social science meets! A new study by OII's Dr Taha Yasseri and Rachel Dinh analyses 10 years of eharmony UK data to reveal fascinating insights into online dating and changing trends. Find out more: https://t.co/xLhlIUSJCu @TahaYasseri @rae_dinh— Oxford Internet Institute (@oiioxford) September 27, 2018
When it comes to online dating, men are more likely to make the first move and pursue women with high levels of self-rated attractiveness.eharmony, which tracked changing preferences and communication patterns among single Brits over the past decade. Researchers analyzed 150K profiles in the biggest study into dating trends of its kind — marking the online dating platform's 10-year UK anniversary.
Despite marked changed to the online dating landscape — including the emergence of more app based platforms — researchers found that traditional gender roles and expectations persist. In fact, the number of men initiating conversations online has increased, from 6% in 2008 to 30% in 2018. What's more, when women do make the first move, they receive 15% less communication than men.
Men also demonstrate more confidence in their selection of a potential partner, sending more messages to women with a self-rated attractiveness score of between 8-9. Good looks are less important to women — men who score between 5-9 on 'attractiveness' actually receive more messages than men who score 10/10.
"Interestingly, self-identifying as 'sexual' is a major turn-off for both genders. Men and women who do so receive less messages overall," the research revealed.
A smoking habit in prospective partners polarized opinions, 58% considered it not important, while 40% said it was "very important." Both men and women are less concerned with their potential better halves' consumption of alcohol — 77% responding "not important" to "somewhat not important" in 2018.
The research revealed that those men, who upload more photos of themselves on their dating profiles, receive more messages from interested contenders. Scoring highly on athleticism, agreeableness and altruism for men also raises their chances of finding that one special person.
In women, the most desirable features included being athletic, alongside being romantic or altruistic. However, a woman indexed as anxious or clever would decrease the likelihood receiving messages.
University of Oxford researchers analyzed 150K profiles in the biggest study into dating trends of its kind — marking the 10-year UK anniversary of the dating platform eharmony.